The Times-Union selects its All-Decade softball team for Northeast Florida, led by former Bishop Snyder pitcher Sydney Wright.
Sydney Wright overpowered opponents at the plate.
From the circle, she was just as strong.
A two-time state finalist honored as Florida’s best player during her senior year, the former Bishop Snyder pitcher is the Times-Union’s player of the decade for softball.
She led the Cardinals to consecutive Florida High School Athletic Association finals in 2012 and 2013 and won the Times-Union’s All-First Coast player of the year award in both seasons.
Wright became only the second Jacksonville player ever to earn the Gatorade Player of the Year award for Florida, following Mandarin’s Kellie Wilkerson in 1998.
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Her senior season stands out among the best in area history: Wright finished 2013 at 27-5 with 276 strikeouts, mowing down opponents with an earned-run average of 0.52, while also batting .441 with 10 home runs and 43 RBI.
But she wasn’t just a star in one season — or in one position.
Wright won 15 games during her freshman campaign in 2010, and after that, her stats kept on improving in the circle.
As a sophomore, she was a first-team All-First Coast pick, with a 19-5 record, an 0.81 ERA and 205 strikeouts. Then, as a junior in 2012, she won the Times-Union’s player of the year award with a 25-6 record, an 0.98 ERA and 282 strikeouts as the Cardinals reached the state final.
She pitched all 10 innings in an epic semifinal victory against Winter Park Trinity Prep — two hits allowed, 15 strikeouts — before Snyder lost the final to Delray Beach American Heritage.
Wright also slugged the softball at the plate, with five homers as a sophomore and eight home runs as a junior, to go with 42 RBI.
She signed with Arkansas and played two seasons with the Razorbacks, finishing second on the team with four homers in her 2015 sophomore season.
ALL-DECADE SOFTBALL TEAM
P Avery Geehr (2014, Ponte Vedra)
Resume: The Times-Union's All-First Coast player of the year in 2014, Geehr mowed down batters in the circle for three years. Her senior season with the Sharks ranks among the most dominant for any pitcher in First Coast history: a 25-1 record with an 0.28 ERA and 259 strikeouts. From her sophomore year on, she kept her ERA below 1.00 in each season.
After high school: Geehr signed with Georgetown and pitched 19 games as a freshman.
P Kelsey Sweatt (2017, Oakleaf)
Resume: The Times-Union's player of the year in 2016 and 2017, Sweatt showed no mercy on the mound. She overpowered batters starting in her 223-strikeout sophomore year and closed her high school days with a devastating senior season: 16-2 and an 0.45 ERA while leading the Knights inexorably toward their first-ever FHSAA championship.
After high school: Sweatt signed with USC Upstate and played a year at the Spartanburg, S.C. school, then transferred to Division II West Florida. With the Argos, she was named most outstanding player of the Gulf South Conference tournament, finishing the year 19-4 with a 1.64 ERA, 145 strikeouts, a .170 opponents' batting average and a scoreless-inning streak of 29 for April and May.
P Haylie Wilson (2011, Bolles)
Resume: Simply the top player of the decade for traditional power Bolles. Pitching with a power far beyond her 5-2 stature, Wilson pitched four years for Bolles, leading the Bulldogs to the 2009 and 2010 state finals. She went 21-5 with an 0.66 ERA and 242 strikeouts as a junior, then delivered a devastating senior season that earned her player of the year honors (24-5, 0.70 ERA, 219 strikeouts as well as a .448 batting average, four homers and 41 RBI at the plate). Wilson set Bolles career records in wins, strikeouts and multiple other statistics.
After high school: Wilson originally planned to join Presbyterian's program but ended up signing with Louisiana-Monroe, delivering four strong seasons with the Sun Belt Conference school. She wrapped up her Warhawks career eighth on the program's all-time wins list with 25 and ninth in innings pitched with 339 1/3. Now married and known as Haylie Landry, she coached last season at Lee Magnet High School in Baton Rouge, La.
P Sydney Wright (2013, Bishop Snyder)
Resume: See box.
C Madison Kennedy (2017, Baker County)
Resume: Few players in Northeast Florida could swat the softball like Kennedy, a three-time All-First Coast first-team selection who helped the Wildcats to their first state championship in 2015. After succeeding another multiple All-First Coast star in Kylie Holton behind the plate, she boosted her home run count in each of her four seasons, setting a program record with 32 homers and hitting for averages of .380 or higher during sophomore to senior years.
After high school: A Florida State signee, Kennedy was a part of the Seminoles' squad that won the NCAA Women's College World Series in 2018, although she redshirted and didn't play during the competition. She subsequently transferred to Jacksonville University, where she’s on course to play in the spring.
IF Kayli Kvistad (2014, Columbia)
Resume: A devastating slugger and a constant threat to knock any pitch out of the ballpark, Kvistad finished her high school career with 44 home runs, a Northeast Florida record for fast-pitch competition. She hit 15 of those during her sophomore season with the Tigers and won three first-team All-First Coast selections and helped the Tigers to their first state championship in 2013.
After high school: Kvistad didn't have to travel far for college, heading down Interstate 75 to play for Florida and winning a national championship as a freshman in 2015. She leads the Gators all-time in walks with 186 and ranks second in on-base percentage (.492) and runs batted in (193). A two-time first-team All-SEC selection and an All-America Scholar Athlete with a major in communication sciences and disorders, she also finished among 10 nationwide finalists for the Senior CLASS award.
IF Reedy Davenport (2018, Bartram Trail)
Resume: Name a sport and there's a good chance that Davenport excelled in it — she also played four years for Bartram Trail's girls hoops squad — but she saved her biggest impacts for the softball diamond. A three-time All-First Coast pick and the Times-Union's 2018 player of the year, Davenport completed her Bears career with an overall average of .509 and 23 home runs. As a senior, she hit .551 with nine home runs, 18 doubles and 43 RBI.
After high school: Davenport kept the momentum going into college after signing in 2018 with Florida Gulf Coast. She won ASun freshman of the year honors in 2019, batting .291 with seven doubles, four home runs and 24 RBI. Her most dramatic achievement came March 15, when she hit two grand slams in a day during FGCU's doubleheader against LIU-Brooklyn and Seton Hall.
IF Kacie Kelly (2016, West Nassau)
Resume: A two-time All-First Coast first-team choice, Kelly reached base at a steady clip on a Warriors team that repeatedly challenged for state titles. Her top season came during her senior year, when she batted .552 with 12 doubles and 17 stolen bases.
After high school: She's stayed in Florida with Division II Saint Leo, where she's rising high on the school's career top-five lists for batting average (.398), hits (206), runs (127) and on-base percentage (.476). Kelly won Sunshine State Conference player of the year honors in 2017, playing both second base and shortstop for the Lions, and earned first-team conference honors in all three seasons.
IF Kendall Reid (2015, Mandarin)
Resume: Jacksonville’s most formidable power hitter of the decade, Reid packed a devastating home run punch in the heart of the Mandarin order. The 6-2 corner infielder clubbed 43 career home runs, earning rare All-First Coast first-team honors in all four years: .419 with eight homers as a freshman, .418 with nine as a sophomore, .545 with 12 as a junior and .517 with 17 homers and 49 RBI as a senior.
Career after high school: Her promising college career at UCF was cut short by a pair of severe injuries — torn labrums in both hips — before her first game. But Reid remained around the Knights’ program as a videographer and was honored alongside her softball teammates at graduation in spring.
OF Rebecca Koskey (2018, Oakleaf)
Resume: Koskey twice won first-team All-First Coast recognition in 2017 and 2018, powering the heart of the order as the Knights built a softball dynasty. She saw playing time at numerous positions, even pitching on occasion. She recorded a .467 average with five home runs, 25 RBI and 23 runs in Oakleaf's 2017 championship season, then hit .426 with eight doubles, four home runs and 35 RBI as a senior against one of Florida's toughest schedules. Koskey finished her high school career as Oakleaf's all-time leader in batting average and home runs.
After high school: She signed with Florida International and completed her freshman season this spring, batting .193 but demonstrating her power (four doubles and three home runs) in limited duty.
OF Morgan Podany (2015, Ponte Vedra)
Resume: A versatile athlete who played frequently in middle infield for the Sharks but shifted to the outfield later in college, Podany energized a Sharks team that made multiple visits to the state final four. She earned first-team All-First Coast recognition in 2014 and 2015, finishing her senior season with a .439 batting average, 11 home runs and 27 RBI.
After high school: Her impact didn't stop once she graduated from Ponte Vedra. Podany became a four-year regular at Auburn in the outfield with 218 career games, earning SEC All-Tournament recognition as a senior. She also earned conference academic honors all four years while studying marketing.
OF Lexi Taylor (2012, Orange Park)
Resume: Chasing down balls in the outfield or firing them from the circle, Taylor could do it all for the Raiders. She batted .520 with 16 doubles as a junior and hit .447 during her senior year, then also registered a 1.64 ERA and 12 wins while pitching during her junior year to earn a pair of first-team All-First Coast selections.
After high school: Taylor signed with the hometown University of North Florida and played all four seasons for the Ospreys.
UT Taylor Bauman (2016, Atlantic Coast)
Resume: When the decade started, Atlantic Coast High School hadn't even opened. Now, the Stingrays are perennial Gateway Conference contenders, and three-time All-First Coast first-team choice Bauman was a big part of the rise. She combined to strike out 610 batters during her final three years of high school.
After high school: Another player staying in the Sunshine State for college, Bauman signed with Florida Gulf Coast in the ASun and led the nation in saves with 15 during her freshman season in 2018. She was limited to part-time duty in 2019.
UT Savannah Parker (2018, Bartram Trail)
Resume: Parker needed just two years to become a school record-breaker, belting 14 home runs as a sophomore in 2016 to capture the Bartram Trail single-season record. A big-time run producer with the strength of a county champion weightlifter, she delivered batting averages of .506, .458 and .461 in her final three Bears seasons and closed her career with a 12-homer, 36-RBI campaign. She was first-team All-First Coast in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
After high school: Parker already has three more home runs to start her college career at Florida State, where she saw part-time duty (33 games, eight starts) in the Seminoles' season. She batted .214 but patience at the plate gave her a .389 on-base percentage.
UT Amaya Ross (2021, Trinity Christian)
Resume: All-First Coast as an eighth-grader? That's part of the resume for Ross, who's earned recognition among the area's best in each of the last three seasons. She batted .522 with 26 steals and three home runs while still a middle schooler competing against opponents four years older, and she continued in her speedy energizer role during the Conquerors' title campaign in 2019. Ross drove in six RBIs in the FHSAA title game.
After high school: Ross still has two more seasons of high school eligibility left.